Have the Winter Blues? Depression-Fighting Earbuds May Help

Jan 13, 2011
Jenny Inglee is a Los Angeles-based journalist and the Education Editor at TakePart.
Light rays to the brain may be the medicine needed to heal your winter blues. (Photo: Valkee)

Have you heard of seasonal affective disorder?

It's a depressive condition that comes on after too many long and gray winter days. Bright light therapy has been known to help. Basically, a light box is brought into the sufferer's house and emits the rays of light human's seem to crave.

Valkee, a Finnish company is taking this idea one step further.

It has created earbuds not for listening to music, but for shining light into your brain to better your mood.

The company's marketers claim that the bright-light headset, "increases light exposure easily and effectively by bringing light very close to the brain via the ear canals."

The promo copy also notes, "Surprisingly our eyes are not the most effective route to deliver light to the brain: the ear canal, where the skull is at its thinnest, is the most effective route to direct light to where it is needed."

All that's needed for seasonal affective recovery, the company says, is eight to 12 minutes a day of light blown like smoke into the ear canals. In their clinical test, Valkee reports approximately nine out of 10 patients experience total relief of their winter blues symptoms.

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